If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

The Clay Speakership Revisited

Randall Strahan, Vincent G. Moscardelli, Moshe Haspel and Richard S. Wike
Polity
Vol. 32, No. 4 (Summer, 2000), pp. 561-593
DOI: 10.2307/3235293
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3235293
Page Count: 33
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
The Clay Speakership Revisited
Preview not available

Abstract

The speakership of Henry Clay marks an important period in the early development of American politics and political institutions. The "leadership survival" explanation of the Clay speakership, first proposed in James Sterling Young's, The Washington Community, 1800-1828, has enjoyed wide currency and more recently has been incorporated in work by scholars associated with the "new institutionalism" in rational choice theory. In this article we revisit Young's account of the Clay speakership, focusing on the period after the War of 1812. Using evidence from committee assignment and roll call records, we show that Speaker Clay's leadership strategy was more complex than Young and the new institutionalist accounts propose, and that it advanced Clay's public policy goals as well as his political ambition. A new survey of historical evidence also shows that Young significantly understated Clay's importance as a leader on matters of national policy. We propose a "strategic majority" explanation, which provides a more complete account of the politics of the Clay speakership and of Clay's influence on national policy during these years.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[561]
    [561]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
562
    562
  • Thumbnail: Page 
563
    563
  • Thumbnail: Page 
564
    564
  • Thumbnail: Page 
565
    565
  • Thumbnail: Page 
566
    566
  • Thumbnail: Page 
567
    567
  • Thumbnail: Page 
568
    568
  • Thumbnail: Page 
569
    569
  • Thumbnail: Page 
570
    570
  • Thumbnail: Page 
571
    571
  • Thumbnail: Page 
572
    572
  • Thumbnail: Page 
573
    573
  • Thumbnail: Page 
574
    574
  • Thumbnail: Page 
575
    575
  • Thumbnail: Page 
576
    576
  • Thumbnail: Page 
577
    577
  • Thumbnail: Page 
578
    578
  • Thumbnail: Page 
579
    579
  • Thumbnail: Page 
580
    580
  • Thumbnail: Page 
581
    581
  • Thumbnail: Page 
582
    582
  • Thumbnail: Page 
583
    583
  • Thumbnail: Page 
584
    584
  • Thumbnail: Page 
585
    585
  • Thumbnail: Page 
586
    586
  • Thumbnail: Page 
587
    587
  • Thumbnail: Page 
588
    588
  • Thumbnail: Page 
589
    589
  • Thumbnail: Page 
590
    590
  • Thumbnail: Page 
591
    591
  • Thumbnail: Page 
592
    592
  • Thumbnail: Page 
593
    593